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Podcast: Is Luke Walton the right coach for the Lakers?

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The Lakers are in the midst of the ugliest stretch of the season. Can Luke Walton turn things around?

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

When LeBron James went down with a groin strain, the Los Angeles Lakers had just beaten the Golden State Warriors and the vibe around the team could not possibly have been higher, all things considered. Doesn’t that feel like ages ago?

The task over the next week or so before James returns is going to be a tough but crucial one: The Lakers have to figure out how many of the issues that have shown themselves recently are legitimate, and how many will be fixed once guys get healthy. On today’s mailbag episode of the Locked on Lakers podcast, I answered some of the questions listeners have about the team we seem to be stuck with all love dearly.

But we start today’s discussion with how to define a rival of the Lakers. I’m a bit more picky when it comes to which franchises I consider rivals. The team in question has to have some success against the Lakers (preferably in the postseason), so this greatly limits the list. One potentially interesting candidate given recent events are the Golden State Warriors. There’s also the Dodgers-Giants aspect of it, which should also be taken into account. They aren’t quite there yet, in my opinion, but we’ll see where things go.

The other questions took us all over the map, covering topics like one potential reason for Lonzo Ball’s disappointing season, free agency scenarios should the Lakers strike out on Anthony Davis, how the fit pieces around Davis if the Lakers do find a way to land him, and more.

After the questions run out, I then addressed Luke Walton and this recent slide the Lakers are on. For what it’s worth, the front office seems willing to remain surprisingly realistic with Walton, but it’s impossible to say how long that might hold out. Ideally, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka would step in and maybe request a couple hires to Walton’s staff, but even that might be considered a slight to the head coach. The Lakers have to start competing as soon as possible, though, as Johnson doesn’t seem the particularly patient type.

The entire discussion can be listened to below, and make sure to subscribe to Locked on Lakers on iTunes so you don’t miss anything moving forward.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.